Do, Not Try
Unlike my friend Malou who can echo, word for word, other people's speeches just by listening to them, and knows all her friends' cellphone numbers from memory (she doesn't use her directory), I am a synthesizer.
In my own words, I jot down ideas and concepts I hear, simplifying them as I see fit along the way. That means I am also a simplifier.
One part of the sermon I heard last Sunday made me squirm in my seat. I want to share a part of it with you by synthesizing and simplifying it (the words, not the content), especially because I think it was grace particularly meant for me.
Pastor: Are you a grumbler? A griper? A growler? A whiner?
Pastor: Do you see only what's wrong and not what's right?
Me: Sometimes. Okay, often.
Pastor: There was a man who constantly complained about not being able to sleep well.
Me: That's a woman . . . me. I blogged about her.
Pastor: He complained about his insomnia day in and day out.
Pastor: Until one day. . . he rushed to the hospital to visit his friend who was in a coma. Around his friend's hospital bed were family and close friends. They were all intently praying—earnestly begging God to wake him up. The insomniac was suddenly assaulted by this thought: What do I prefer? Not being able to wake up or not being able to sleep? From that moment on, he stopped complaining about his sleeplessness.
Me: I'll TRY to stop complaining about my sleeplessness.
Pastor: Open your Bible to Philippians 2:14.
Me: (Reading silently) Do everything without complaining and arguing . . . Oops, it says “do,” not “try.”
Pastor: Let us pray.
Me: O Lord, help me to stop trying and start doing everything without complaining and arguing . . .
This verse must have inspired Yoda . . . 2,000 years later.